2015 iMac 27” 5K decision

I need to make a decision. I have a late 2015 27 inch iMac 5K. It’s been a great computer but the spinning hard drive crashed. This actually happened back in the spring. I haven’t done anything about it up to this point.I was thinking to do the upgrade the SSD myself, or have an Apple store replace the hard drive.

But now Apple offers trade in value about $670 for this computer it looks like. So I was thinking about buying the new M1 MacBook Air for only about $300 or $400 out of pocket, after trade-in.

So the decision for me is several hundred dollars to replace the hard drive or an extra hundred or two to upgrade it to SSD. But it’s still a 2015 iMac.

Or, for about the same price have a brand new MacBook Air with the M1.

The other part is that I don’t have that much use for a home computer anymore. I have a computer at work, and I have other devices like a chrome book in my wife’s MacBook Pro. So, for me it’s more about getting the value out of the iMac that has been sitting idle since April when the hard drive crashed.

I guess I would also sell it straight up to a third-party, but I’m a little worried about the data contained on the crashed hard drive because I was not able to wipe it before it crashed.

Any thoughts or advice for me?

This, I think, is your answer.

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If you’re really concerned about the info on your HD, check with your local authorized Apple repair store. The one I used in Nashville would only charge me $100 plus the cost of a replacement drive to fix an iMac.

It might be easier to sell the iMac if had a working drive, and you wouldn’t have to worry about your data.

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I don’t know if I would let this dissuade you. A 2015 iMac is still pretty good for an Intel-based machine. Biggest weakness (aside from yours not having an SSD) is probably the lack of Thunderbolt 3. The 5K screen is still probably the best display out there for less than $6000.

That said, it sounds like a desktop machine like this no longer fits your lifestyle. One important thing to note is that you can trade your iMac in with Apple without necessarily need to buy a new Mac immediately. As they note on their trade-in page: “If you’re not ready to make a purchase, you can trade in your old device online for an Apple Gift Card by Email that you can apply to any future Apple purchase.” So if you don’t have an immediate need for an M1 laptop you could trade it in for a gift card and get the value out of it without committing to a new MacBook Air right now (the new Airs do look pretty sweet though).


You can always run the OS from an external SSD until you get the drive replaced (if at all)
Ive run my 2013 iMac from a samsung T5 for more than a year before upgrading, and that worked fine for me. Very low cost solution.


Thank you. Took your advice. Selling mine back and then will buy something down the road. Apple is good about giving me things to buy!

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